The two-flat on the corner of Harlem Avenue and Adams Street has been an eyesore for years and is now under the attention of both the village and the county, as asbestos abatement is needed before any further work is done on the property.
Currently uninhabited, it sports missing windows, holes, exposed lathwork, and is in a state of complete disrepair.
Previously owned and occupied by the Karlin family, it was sold in 2019 to Immaculate Investing LLC, based out of Schaumburg, IL and owned by Michael Winders.
The building has been unoccupied for five or six years, said Steve Glinke, director of building and zoning. However Glinke believes the building was used as an encampment two summers ago by individuals experiencing homelessness.
In January 2021, the owner was ticketed by the county after an inspection by the county’s Department of Environmental Sustainability found violations involving illegal asbestos removal, according to the Brittany Hill, public information officer for the Cook County Bureau of Administration.
The owner, however, did not show up for a hearing scheduled in February, so a default judgment was issued against him.
The owner needs to apply for an asbestos abatement permit to finish cleaning up the property, according to the county.
“The county is willing to work with the owner, but our calls have not been returned,” said Hill.
According to Glinke, the owner holds no current work permits issued by the village, so no work should not be occurring on the home. However, he’s observed signs of occasional changes and what might be called improvements, such as what looks like replacement or re-sheeting of one of the external walls.
As a result, a stop-work order was issued to the owner of the building last week. Proper precautions need to be taken when removing the asbestos-impregnated siding, said Glinke, which is why the county has required the property owner to obtain an asbestos abatement permit.
The structure itself, Glinke said, is sound. Without danger of a building falling, the village generally won’t demolish it.
“We’ll issue an order to demolish only in extreme cases,” Glinke said, “but if there isn’t an imminent risk, the village doesn’t want to incur expenses we’re not 100% certain will be reimbursed.”
In addition to the ticket from the county, multiple tickets have been issued by Forest Park to the property owner.
“As a village, we just want to see the property improved and occupied,” Glinke said.